Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vicksburg History

The Siege of Vicksburg was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. With no re-enforcement, supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than forty days, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. This action (combined with the capitulation of Port Hudson on July 9) yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, who would hold it for the rest of the conflict. The Vicksburg Military Park has 1,340 cemetary monuments for primarily Union soldiers.

The Confederate surrender following the siege at Vicksburg is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the previous day, the turning point of the war. It also cut off communication with Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the remainder of the war. The city of Vicksburg would not celebrate Independence Day for about eighty years as a result of the siege and surrender. (That’s no celebration of Independence Day until 1943!!!) This hill overlooking the Mississippi River has memorials to Military Units of Confederate soldiers. The previous paragraphs of historical information are from Wikipedia.

Driving around town there are many reminders of the Civil War. Cannons seem to be popular at motel entrances.

These momuments commemorating Union military units are at the entrance of a mall. There are streets with momuments of military leaders along them. It makes Roy and me think it would be hard to put the war to rest and move on with so many reminders of the conflict.

This is the current flag of Mississippi. It was approved in 2001. It incorporates the confederate battle flag. The design seems to me to represent north and south as being together yet still separate. Interesting!